There are many things we will all take out of this last year and probably bore our grandchildren to death over. A lot of them have been fairly awful, some just tedious and a few, just a few, positive!

One of the positive things to come out of the pandemic (and not for good reasons we hasten to add!) is that people have actually started talking about mortality and thinking about what happens at the end of their lives without the strange stigma that surrounded the subject before Covid-19 turned up.

We have had a lot of queries about getting a Will drawn up and about lasting powers of attorney. This means people are being sensible. However, one of the areas that people with a Will already sometimes forget about, is actually reviewing that document.

Here at rhw we recommend that you review your Will at least every 5 years.

The law (and in particular tax law) is constantly changing. Since you made your Will these legislative changes may mean that the provisions of your Will are no longer the most appropriate for your circumstances.

Equally, your circumstances themselves may have changed. For example, your family may have grown and their needs, or your priorities, altered. You may now be worried about the impact of inheritance tax or long term care charges on what you wish to pass on to your family.

On top of these regular reviews, it is essential that you update your Will if any of the following events occur:

  • If you marry or enter into a legally recognised domestic partnership – this is likely to revoke your existing Will automatically
  • Divorce, annulment or dissolution of a civil partnership – these events are likely to affect the provisions of your Will
  • You, or anyone referred to in the Will, changes his or her name.
  • An executor dies or becomes unfit to act.
  • A beneficiary dies.
  • Your estate changes in value in a material way (you might win the lottery!)
  • You no longer own an asset specifically bequeathed in your Will.

If you wish to change your Will:

  • Do not add handwritten changes to your Will (these are unlikely to be legally valid)
  • Do consult your solicitor, who will advise you how best to effect the changes and ensure that your Will is as tax-efficient as possible

Contact rhw’s Wills, Trusts and Estates Team if you want to get a new Will drawn up or if you wish to review your current Will.  01483 302000  guildford@rhw.co.uk